My teenage daughter

Jane - posted on 10/18/2012 ( 12 moms have responded )

4

0

0

I will start by saying that my daughter used to be the sweetest girl you could have ever met. Very respectful and really quite shy. Always eager to make me happy. Lately the atmosphere in our home is on a whole other level. My daughter is 16 and next week will be turning 17. Over the past few months things have progressively gotten worse. It started

with her testing boundries on an appropriate time for her to be home on school nights. She decided she was growing up and could set her own time on coming home etc.....She doesnt clean her room, help with any of the household chores nor does she take care of her two dogs. Things have progressed rather quickly and now she talks back yelling and even cussing at me. Today she told me she hated me. Every morning is a constant struggle to even get her to go to school. The past couple weeks she has gotten to school late because she refuses to do as I ask. I got a phone call from the school today stating she walked off campus and left school. I frantically left work and went looking for her. I eventually found her at home. She informed me she was quitting school. I don't know where all this is coming from. She won't talk to me. Her teachers tell me she has become very isolated at school and sleeps through the majority of her classes. She has an older brother and sister who never behaved this way. Her brother recently graduated college and her sister is currently in college. I am a college graduate myself and business professional. I am a single parent and I am struggling with my daughters sudden lack of disrespect and hatred. The school isn't much help. The counselor said he would talk to her, that is if I can get her to go. I'm so confused, hurt and wondering what I did wrong with her. Any ideas or suggestions would be so greatly appreciated. Thanks

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Starr - posted on 10/24/2012

151

0

27

That's a really hard age to deal with a move and new school. So much of the time their little "clicks" in school are already formed by now, making it much harder to fit into what us parents would call a good group of kids. It seems the bad kids are so much more welcoming at this age. I would have her participate in some sort activity, club or sport at her school if you can get her to go, I think it really gives the kids something to bond around and getting involved in HS really makes a difference vs just going because you have to for classes alone. Maybe make a deal, she enrolls in X you will do Y for her. Try not to take her hurtful words personally, that's just her way of manipulating you to get her way. If school continues to be a struggle then I would look into some alternate schooling options. I know you don't exactly care for her friends but what about trying to be friends with her friends rather than expressing dislike. If her friends think you are nice, cool, etc. she may too and open up a bit more. Invite them over, offer them food etc. I always figured I'd rather have the kids handing out at our house than who knows where doing who knows what.

Kristin - posted on 10/19/2012

621

0

174

I am going through the same thing with my 16 yr old son other than he does help with chores and he is still respectful but he is smoking pot and he skipped classes to the point where I had to put him into an outreach school so he can do all his courses at home. He recently moved into his grandparents home as he states he hates me and my rules,. The only rules i have are no smoking pot do your school work and take the garbage out. My son told me that i dont listen and he tries to justify his behavior. So i am stepping back and letting him make his choices without judgement. I told him the consequences of his actions are his and that i wil be there to support him when he decides to make good choices. it is hard buit sometimes as parents we need to let our kids go and trust in the fact that we raised them with good morals and values and hope they will make the right decisions. I have put my son into counselling and all that and nothing helped. I am hoping it is a phase and I am sorry I dont have a lot of advice for you but remeber your not alone in the battles of parent Vs Teen lol

Starr - posted on 10/19/2012

151

0

27

How are things with her friends/boyfriend? Anyone new that maybe isn't in her school. Reason I ask is that I was the same exact way with my parents my Jr and beginning of Sr year. I didn't have any friends at school anymore, all my friends had already graduated or didn't go to school there. Everyone at school either ignored me or bullied me. I also had an older boyfriend that was always breaking up with me, I wouldn't dare tell my parents what was really going on, I lost all interest in school. All I wanted to do was sleep, I would take it out on my mother when ever something went wrong with my boyfriend or I couldn't do what I wanted. Mom tried grounding me, did no good, counseling, I wouldn't even get out of the car I was such a brat. Eventually she kicked me out once I turned 18, I moved 4 hours away to a friend of my grandmothers and somehow turned it all around. Finished my senior year will all A's. I think it was getting away from all the bad influences in my life that helped. I had nothing left to do but focus on my schoolwork.



Now I am not saying you kick her out, I could never do that to my child but maybe try to figure out without judging what is really going on as there has to a reason for the change in behavior. Sorry, I don't have much advice I'm just tying to maybe give you a little insight and to let you know that things do and can turn around. Maybe try changing schools to a different area, get her away from whoever it is she is hanging out with.

Tracy - posted on 10/19/2012

22

10

2

My daughter, who has just turned 16, has already been through a couple years of such behavior. It has been a challenge, but we keep making it through, day by day. I have put her through counseling and she has been treated extensively for depression. What I have found that works and what I think she needed the most, was just VERY firm boundaries. She still doesn't help much around the house, and school is a never ending battle (even though she is an A student), but things in general seem to be getting better, easier...and she even seems happier :). Just keep your head up, boundaries firm and faith strong.

Mardi - posted on 10/18/2012

156

0

51

She is 17, so close to being an adult.



I think a change of approach is required. The stipulation of free room and board comes from hard work and studying. If she doesn't want to be at school, she needs to get a job that will pay her way......welcome to the adult world. Its as simple as this is how its going to be. Give her no more than a month to work out if she will stay living with you, or move out on her own or with friends. Make sure her board is fare to YOU, not her, its time to get real, she will be out in the real world soon enough, sooner by the sounds of things and needs to learn quickly that life isn't free.

12 Comments

View replies by

Barbara - posted on 10/24/2012

153

0

19

I agree with Starr. My daughter was in her private elementary/junior high for 9 years. Transitioning to a huge public high school has been challenging for both of us, particularly for her with such a radical change in environment. I invite all of my daughter friends (even those I dislike) to our home. It is a safe place for the girls to congregate, I know where she is, I can hear parts of the conversation and see how she is fairing with peer pressure (a major issue at this age), the girls learn to respect our home and our rules/values or they know they may not be invited back. I provide the refreshments, chips, pizza and soft drinks, the Wii for entertainment, a reasonable level of privacy and respect each and every one of them regardless about how I may feel - they are my daughters friends. For the most part her friends report to her that they 'like your mom, your mom is so cooool!' I'm not cool, but I do show them respect and interest. It isn't in her best interest that I'm 'cool', it is in her best interest that I know where she is, who she is with and what they are doing. This makes obtaining that information much safer and a whole lot easier on both of us.

Monica - posted on 10/24/2012

3

0

0

I feel for you going through the samething with my 16 year old son..its not easy and not much help out there..every day is a new adventure not knowing what awaits me...his pissy mood, his lack of respect and just down right miserable and school every morning is a struggle and when he gets there..he cant stay there...always missing classes repeating grade 10 thought he learnt his lesson but i dont think so going to be a long year..good luck...

Barbara - posted on 10/23/2012

153

0

19

It sounds like your daughter is really battling with something. It reminded me of a time when my then 1 1/2 year old daughter awoke from a nap earlier than usual. She fell asleep in the car on the way home from church, I carried her into the house and laid her on the couch with her blankie, then dragged in the groceries, got the dogs in the back yard, all while keeping a close eye on her. She woke up barely after a half-hour of sleep, and went into a major tantrum, screaming, crying, rolling around on the floor beating her feet and hands on the carpeted family room floor. In desperation, I finally wrapped her in her blankie, stood in the middle of the family room and just held her in a tight bear hug while humming her favorite bedtime song. It took a good five minutes while she railed and fought and struggled against me, but eventually she started calming down, I could feel her tense body start to relax.

Teenagers are much like 2 year olds having a terrible-two tantrum. The difference is they know how to use their mouth now, a skill they hadn't acquired at two, they feel they can't come to you for comfort and won't come to the parent for advice (some kind of unspoken weird teen code). They don't want to come to you for comfort or support, but they know that's where they will get the best advice, acceptance, and reliable information. They struggle with this all of the time. My daughter (15) has admitted to me that she wants to ask me, but feels awkward, less of a growing up teenager by running to 'mommy' with her troubles. Sometimes I don't handle her coming to me well, suggesting if this 'friend' or that 'friend' is doing something I don't approve of, that she should cut ties with that person, or refusing to allow that kid into our home. My mistake. ALL of her friends need to be warmly accepted into our home as long as they ALL know the rules here and understand those rules will be enforced. Don't judge her if you can, if she has a good day, praise her, encourage the good things you see her do (even little tiny stuff like 'oh your hair looks so nice today!') Be sincere, but look hard for big and small things to praise her for - anything to encourage her. I stick by my previous post about removing electronics and 'gimme' stuff' that distract them, but do this with a generous heart, not a punitive approach "I know some of these things keep you from important things, so they have to go for a while'. I just did this with my daughter and her cell phone until she brings up one grade at school. They 'hate' you for it now, but will appreciate your diligence when they are older. Remind her every day how much you love her, a note quietly stuffed in her backpack, put a big heart cut out of construction paper on her bathroom mirror with a 'I heart you' in the middle. Take a line from one of her favorite songs (my daughters fav is "You're beautiful". I took a line from the song, put it into photo shop, made a little note card and stuck it to the door of her bedroom for her to find when she came home from school. Just little stuff, but a reminder everyday or several times a week that you don't hate her for going through what ever is bugging her. Try not to trivialize whatever she does bring to you, to her it's the ROCKY MOUNTAINS, even though to an adult, it's a speed bump on a parking lot. Make sure she is safe, stick to your values about school, let her know you are willing to follow her to each and every class, every day for how ever long it might take to make sure she is in school and safe. They want to know you will 'be there', but they don't want to feel insecure enough to ask. Don't throw her out, or threaten to, it will make the situation worse and burn a bridge you need to stay connected. Pray for comfort and guidance for you both. She needs to know she can trust you, you need respite from the battle. Get her out of your office/job. There may be a little too much proximity, She may feel 'microscoped' as my daughter puts it. She may be close to 17, but she is still a kid, immature, vulnerable and possibly depressed. My daughter sees kids doing harmful things to themselves at school, knows they are wrong, wants to be close, 'a good friend', to some of these kids and get them out of whatever they have gotten into, doesn't have the maturity to know how to deal with this, feels like a 'baby' coming to mommy for advice - it's an ongoing continual internal conflict and most of this stuff we don't even know they are thinking about! Let her know she can come to you with ANYTHING and that you will hear her out, not judge her, be open to just letting her spew it out, whatever it is, even stuff you might feel hurt by hearing. It's a difficult transition for both teenager and parent. Being there, being open, being willing, being vulnerable to their 'bad temper' by realizing that WE went through that too and didn't mean what we said (or muttered under our breath).

Melody - posted on 10/22/2012

3

20

0

I had a teen daughter that tried doing many of the things you say your daughter is doing, and more. It got so bad we sent her to a dear friends for several months to get away from the negative friends she was hanging around with. We made her quit her job, where most of the problems were, made her sell her truck so she wouldnt have access to those friends. It was such a heartbreaking time for us. I feel your pain, I truly do. I agree with Barbara, take all her stuff away, take time off, get her into counseling, and get involved in a youth church program that has some experience with troubled youth. Keep her busy and perhaps start doing volunteer work with abused children, animals, elderly so she has some perspective on how good she really does have it. I would even go so far as drug testing her and seeing about switching schools. This bad behavior is a real focus on self, a very self centered approach to life that can spiral down into all kinds of problems, depression, self mutilation, promiscuity, drug use, etc. Nip this in the bud before it gets out of hand and before you are a grandma. I wish that when our problems first started occurring we had spent less time pleading with her and more action in setting her straight by removing her from the situation. It was a really hard time in all our lives, but I'm happy to say she has come out an upstanding great young lady that is away at a christian academy and we get along great now. I truly enjoy spending time with her. Previous to this it was horrible not knowing what her mood was going to be like. We all walked on egg shells, she was so unpredictable. When she did get back from the friends house, which was 800 miles away, I told her we won't be held captive by her emotions any longer and if this continued she would have to leave with none of the things we had provided for her. No furniture, clothes, insurance, car, etc. That was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. We did not have to kick her out as we had removed those things that were an issue before. I'd also talk to the school and see what resources are available for your daughter, are there programs, a scared straight type program you can send her to, someone to call if she skips school etc. I don't mention trying to talk with her, as when we tried talking to our daughter she just got so hostile so that anything we said fell on deaf ears. I would still be loving, kind, gentle, compassionate and try and keep the communication lines open, but realize that an outside source may be able to get her to open up about what's going on better. It's just so easy to be hateful to your mom, because she knows mom does love her. Definitely get her drug tested. I really thought there was no way my daughter would use drugs, but I was so wrong. I trusted her lies and now realize that we should have not believed anything once the strange behavior started. Don't believe this is a phase that can be ignored. It may pass, but on the other hand what if it doesn't? If she hasn't made friends, get her some friends. If you don't help her with good friends, she will be seeking, and the next boy that comes along and shows her attention, she may end up sleeping with him to get the fulfillment she needs. Or she could turn to gangs. Either way it's not good. Look into Big Brothers Big Sisters for her. Whatever you do, do something and pray. Get right with God, fall under His authority for your own life, go to church if you don't and take back from Satan your daughter. I pray you have a favorable outcome. Oh, a piece of advice I received when we had all our issues, be careful who you share this with. Make sure the parents you talk to about your situation have had similar situations themselves and they have had success on the other side. People judge so quickly and can gossip like there is no tomorrow. You don't need to add,condemned by others, to your problems. Pray, pray pray. Hang in there.

Barbara - posted on 10/20/2012

153

0

19

Something is going on to change her demeanor so suddenly. If she won't open up to you then

I would look into the Family Leave Act, make professional arrangements at work and then I would escort her to every single class for at least two weeks. I'd also seek out professional guidance counselor to talk to her about what is going on at school to help her get through this issue. My daughter started acting up in Junior High, didn't want to go to school, had 32 tardies in less than 5 months, threatened to leave school at lunch time and not return (while I was at work). It turned out there was some bullying going on, one girl was passing a false nasty rumor about my daughter, posting a note in the girls bathroom where all of the other girls could see it. I worked with the school diligently to catch this kid in the act and finally did. She was given a three day in-school suspension, her parents were called and notified that under no circumstances would this be allowed to continue/repeat without major consequences (expulsion). As things improved, my daughter was less resistant to going to school, seemed to do better in class. She was planning on going on to a Catholic High School, but changed her mind when the other girl ended up applying for the same school. She is now in a public high school, is well received there, is doing better academically and has many friends that attend the same school. If anyone were to try this again, first of all, she has gained some valuable insight as how to cope with this issue, secondly none of her friends would tolerate negative/hurtful things said about her, and finally, she would know to report this to me immediately and not try to hide it as a poor and inaccurate reflection of who she is. She is a great kid, very intelligent, highly talented, a sweet, caring individual with a tender heart and is wounded easily by a girl who had represented herself as her 'friend' and then behaved in complete contradiction to that. We won't even go to church at the same service that her family attends, I don't want my daughter to have anything to do with them (once burned, twice careful). We have forgiven the girl, she apologized to my daughter, but she started up again during summer school with nasty remarks, aggressive actions and we agreed she should go to the public HS instead. I think you need to work much more with the school, comfort (or try to - they are like prickly pears at this age) your daughter, tell her that you love her no matter how often she tells you she hates you. Remember that she is struggling right now to find a balance, she may be battling with conflicting demands from friends and the values you have lived by all of her life. She may miss older siblings whose shoulders she could cry on from time to time who had live through many of the same issues. Once I make sure that safety is in check, then I'd start taking away 'gimme' stuff, ipods, ipads, cell phones, car keys (if she drives), remove mp3 players or TV's from her room, cut off internet access (including wi-fi if you have it), remove any electronic devices she may enjoy (DS, Wii, Xbox, PSP etc). You might also want to get her to the doctor to check her hormone levels and have her tested for low/high thyroid. Above all, don't take any of the things she says to you or calls you as a true reflection of how she feels about you. She is angry and lashing out and you are the safest person to do that with until you both get a handle on what is really going on. It's a hell of a time for parents, like me, dealing with an elderly parent who is getting a bit forgetful now and then, and my 15 year old daughter, and doing it alone. I can appreciate how you must feel.

Jane - posted on 10/19/2012

4

0

0

Wow, everything you said seems to be exactly what is going on with my daughter. She had a boyfriend, her first one, for only about 3 weeks. Then all of a sudden they broke up because he wanted too. She really changed after that too. We moved here about a year ago and she's never really connected with anyone here per say. Like she hasn't found that "best friend". She does hang around a couple of girls that I don't really care for. one girl for example is 16 and pregnant and has dropped out of school. she lives here in our apartments. I do waonder if she is suffering from depression but she refuses to let me help. i've asked her to please see a counselor and she won't. I'm just so worried about her. She too is a very smart girl. All A's and b's in school. Her grades are falling now with her sudden change in behavior.



Thanks for the insight into how you used to be. Really helps me think that there might be some hope.



I'm just gonna take it day by day and pray for the best.



Thank you........

Jane - posted on 10/18/2012

4

0

0

Thank you, your words mean so much. She actually works for me. Just part time of course. It started out as a summer job for her but has carried over to a part time job while in school. She chose to be in the work program at school so she is required to work at least 15 hrs per week. Needless to say she is now refusing to work as well. I have been in tears all day and have been down on my knees praying that god will be with her and help her have a change of heart. Once again, thanks for your advice. Nice to talk to another mom and hear your suggestions.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms